A group of businesses from Southsea have had a meeting with the policing and fire minister to discuss the rise of crime in the city.
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan took six businesses, including representatives from the Huis Bar, Southsea Beach Cafe and Southsea Coffee Company, to Parliament yesterday for a meeting with the policing and fire minister, Rt. Hon. Nick Hurd MP to talk about the upsurge in small business break-ins.
Mr Morgan said: ‘It was important for me to bring some of Portsmouth’s brilliant small businesses up to Westminster.’
Mr Morgan originally asked the Prime Minister at Question Time in the House of Commons if she would meet with the group but both she and the Home Secretary declined.
Mr Morgan added: ‘The Prime Minister or her Home Secretary should have met with representatives themselves today.
‘Their failure to do so shows just how far their heads are in the sand over rising crime as well as their inability to prioritise Portsmouth.
‘Thankfully, the Policing Minister was willing to listen, and heard from Portsmouth’s small businesses, first-hand, the impact police cuts are having on our community.’
Hampshire Constabulary’s Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen and Chair of the Hampshire Police Federation, John Apter, a serving police officer, joined the meeting during which the group also discussed the effects of stretched resources and budget cuts on frontline policing.
Mr Morgan said: ‘We have a Tory Police and Crime Commissioner who has stayed silent on the issue of crime affecting small businesses in Portsmouth.
‘On his watch, we’ve seen crime increase by ten per cent locally and police officers working flat-out.
‘That is why I want to see every penny he has spent on frontline policing.’
Stephen added: ‘I’m very grateful to the small businesses took the time to come to Westminster to meet with the Minister and myself.
‘I’ll continue to work alongside them, and police, to bring down crime in Portsmouth.’
Simon Docker of Huis Bar represented Elm Grove, Ian Clarke of Southsea Beach Café represented the seafront, Johnny Black of Johnny Black Photography represented Marmion Road, Tara Knight of Southsea Coffee Company represented Osborne Road, and Louise Whitmore of Love Southsea represented local market traders.
Albert Road Traders Association provided a written submission as their chair was unable to attend.